On Thursday, January 14, 1999, the American Mathematical Society announced that Professor Richard Kadison, of Penn's Mathematics Department, was awarded the 1999 Leroy P. Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement. According to the citation for the award, "For almost half a century, Kadison has been one of the world leaders in the field of operator algebras, and the present flourishing of this field is largely due to his efforts. He has written many important papers and books in the subject and has been an inspiration to graduate students and postdoctoral researchers."
Dr. Kadison, who is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a foreign member of the Royal Danish and the Norwegian Academies of Sciences, is one of the founders and leading exponents of the theory of operator algebras, a subject that provides the mathematical framework for the basic structure of Quantum Mechanics. He has published nearly a hundred papers and, with J. Ringrose, one of the definitive treatises on the subject, which was initiated in 1930,by John von Neumann, the inventor of Game Theory and a leader in the development of computers.
Dr. Kadison is the Gustave C. Kuemmerle Professor, a position he has held at Penn since 1964. He has had ten Ph.D. students at Penn, and several more at Columbia prior to that. He has held Fulbright, Sloan and Guggenheim fellowships, and was awarded honorary degrees from the University of Copenhagen and the Universite d'Aix-Marseille.